3 details you should know when installing a dryer

An clothes dryer that's installed incorrectly can cost you time, money and much more. But if you look out for these details, your dryer could actually run more efficiently and save you on utility costs.

3 details you should know when installing a dryer

1. Plugging in

  • Electric dryers require a dedicated 240-volt grounded circuit. Gas models require a natural-gas or bottled gas hook-up and a 120-volt circuit.
  • Installing an electric dryer is relatively simple, but you must hire a professional to install a gas model if you're unfamiliar with handling gas hook-ups.
  • Before you make your connections, consider raising the dryer height with a small wooden platform. It'll make loading and unloading the machine physically easier, and provide extra space for storage below.

2. Ventilation done right

  • Unless it's a no-vent model, your dryer will need proper ventilation to prevent fire hazards and reduce mildew buildup.
  • Dryer vent kits are sold at home centres and hardware stores.
  • The vent must be installed through a hole that leads outside, usually cut in the wall behind the dryer.
  • After you install the vent, connect the ducts from the dryer to the vent and then hook up the dryer to its power supply (electrical or gas).

3. All your ducts in a row

  • Dryer ducts should be no less than 10 centimetres wide.
  • Flexible plastic or foil ducts are the least expensive option, but they are also the easiest to damage.
  • Plastic and foil ducts also tend to sag and kink, which allows lint to build up in the duct and  poses a fire hazard.
  • Flexible metal and rigid metal options are available.
  • Ductwork should be kept as short and straight as possible, with no more than two 90-degree bends to avoid the chance of lint buildup.
  • Make sure the exhaust hood on the outside of the house has a louvre or swing-out damper to prevent backdrafts, and to discourage animals from crawling in.
  • Be sure the duct is the correct length. If it's too long or too narrow, it will have a hard time getting moisture out of the dryer, lengthening drying times.

A brand new dryer can speed up your laundry process and save you money on expensive running costs, but only if it's installed correctly. With the right tools and tips, though, your dryer could run better than you expected.

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